GlenX Career Expo brings jobs to local student’s doorsteps

Basalt High School senior Kimberlyn Sanchez speaks with local police officers at the GlenX Career Expo at Glenwood Springs High School in 2019.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Encouraging his fellow classmates to explore what they could do for the rest of their lives is a big reason why Steven Hicks applauds an upcoming job exposition.

“I know we have a lot less motivated people, so I think it’s good for them to see the options out there,” he said. “Because they won’t go searching for themselves.”

More than 125 businesses representing a wide range of industries are set to attend this Wednesday’s GlenX Career Expo. The event is slated for 8 a.m. to noon at the Garfield County Fairgrounds, 1001 Railroad Ave.

There, business representatives will engage with visiting students and highlighting the ins and outs of many local job openings. Kyle Willkom, a best-selling author and motivator, is also the keynote speaker.

Hicks is a senior at Grand Valley High School. A member of the GlenX Career Expo Student Advisory Board, he said the event exposes students to a plethora of opportunities, whether that be employment, internships, apprenticeships, summer jobs and more.

The expo, due to COVID-19 protocols, was canceled in 2020 and 2021. He is excited it is back in-person.

“Going there and seeing something that interests you rather than looking online is very different because you get to talk to the person and understand what it takes to get there as well,” he said.

Renne Franco is a recruiting and training coordinator with Garfield County who is setting up a booth at the expo. He said the event is a way for planting a seed with a new workforce that may want to live locally rather than working abroad.

“My involvement is to go to this career fair and showcase Garfield County as an employer for the upcoming talent that may be entering the workforce,” he said. “It’s important to be a part of these community events because people are going to want to stay here.”

Right now, the county alone has at least 20 job openings. This includes some entry-level positions, he said.

Jayne Poss is director of the expo. Her job is to facilitate these events with the aim of connecting students to resources that could potentially spark their interest and take the necessary steps to get to where they want to go.
She said students can begin to explore and discover their opportunities, which can lead to meaningful conversations with local businesses, counselors and parents for guidance on career paths.

She said the expo was originally started at Glenwood Springs High School six years ago and, back then, saw about 25-30 businesses participate. Now, that number has shot up past 125; she said the event is helping businesses garner prospective workforces.

“There’s a need in every business,” she said. “When I talk to the businesses that are attending the expo, there’s definitely labor shortages and part of (the businesses) wanted to participate in the career expo, so they can cultivate their workforce.

“We’d like all these students to stay in our valley and become a part of our workforce,” she said.

Poss said that not only does the expo run in fall and spring, they’ve created a new virtual career expo found on 

This week’s expo invites students from Rifle High School, CMC, Coal Ridge, Grand Valley, Meeker and charter schools.

Poss said students are always looking for opportunities in business and marketing, tech, medical, hospitality and human services. Nowadays, however, she said she’s seeing more interest in agriculture, farming and the trades.

When the expo student advisory group was created three years ago, this sparked the interest of Hicks. He attended his first expo his freshman year and, as an aspiring cardiologist, loved how he was exposed to what he needs to do to achieve his dream.

Despite his career aspirations, he said lots of his fellow students also are looking for careers in the trades.

“I know a lot of people plan on going into the trades,” he said. “I want to make sure to have a good attendance there.”

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